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Watch out for Fraud! Watch out for Scams! Watch out …..

Based on my own experiences of the past month or so, the summer heat is certainly bringing out those wonderful people who like to operate the various scams of the world.

On the phone, I’ve learned that I have won trips, vacations, prizes and who knows what else if only I would be willing to enter some number on the telephone key pad to claim my prize, etc. My number is on the government’s “Do Not Call” list but I’m still hearing “This is your captain speaking” or similar from time to time or hearing that some friend or relative of mine has entered my name in a draw at a nearby store and guess what …..!

For folks in Canada, the government (Canadian Radio, TV, and Telecommunications Commission – CRTC) operates a “Do Not Call” list. It isn’t perfect but it does reduce those suppertime calls a bit and if you want to complain about getting those pesky telemarketing calls, their webpage offers a form for doing just that. CRTC – DO NOT CALL website

The comes the mail. I recently learned that some relative, whom I’ve never met or never known, has unfortunately passed away leaving a huge amount of insurance money just waiting to be picked up. The first announcement of this wonderful financial pot of gold came to me in an official looking postage paid Canada Post style Hudson’s Bay Co. envelope. I didn’t reply quick enough, I guess, because shortly after the arrival of the first letter, I got a second letter announcing the death of the same relative and it directed me to contact one of the partners at McCollum & Associates in Minneapolis, which I did by using the correct e-mail address not the e-mail address listed in the letter. No surprise here but the folks at McCollum & Associates are not too pleased that someone has included their name in the scheme. They have provided details to the authorities, as have I.

For folks in Canada, the national government has a section that investigates these kinds of mail schemes. They call it the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They can be reached toll free at 1-888-495-8501 or by e-mail at info@antifraudcentre.ca. Their web page has plenty of interesting reading about what the currently popular scams look like. Have fun, take a peek, report a scam. Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

Today, it was e-mail fraud time.  Today, I received an e-mail that was immediately suspicious.  It read:

Dear MyBell member: The credit card we have on file for your MyBell Internet service was declined when we attempted to bill you on 07/10/2013 for your most recent service fees. For this reason, your service could be suspended. Please visit our Account Information pages, located at Click Here and update your credit card information as soon as possible.Once your credit card information is updated, you will be charged immediately, as soon as payment is received. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to continuing to serve you.
*************************
Account ID: *****
E-mail ID: ****
Online Session PID: ****
*************************
Sincerely,
MyBell Customer Care

Suspecting a fraud/scam, I phoned the Bell folks immediately and found out thatmy account, as usual, was in good standing without any credit card issues. If you are a Bell customer in Canada and have received a similar notice, DO NOT click on the Click Here link in the original e-mail. Contact Bell Canada’s customer service number at: 310-2355. I’ve sent a copy of the offending e-mail that I received to Abuse@bell.ca which apparently gets directly to Bell Canada’s scam investigator unit.

I enjoy purchasing used photo equipment through listings on sites such as Kijiji.  Well guess what I’ve found out – some offers are real, some are not. Why do all of the best deals involve wiring money to someone who just left town :-).  Anyways, whenever I encounter these fabulous offers, I notify the website operators directly. Did that again just recently.

Maybe, if I don’t have to spend so much time dealing with scam issues, I might have more time for photography and travel :-).

By Ron

Ron has long had an interest in photography and traveling and, in recent years, has had more time to devote to both activities. Long a Pentax user, Ron switched to Nikon gear when he went digital. The advent of the digital SLR camera, and the ease of the internet blogging process, has provided a venue for sharing his photography and travel experience at the local, national and international level. More about Ron

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